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Is there anything purer than a drag race when it comes to measuring one supercar’s performance versus another? Of course, there is a myriad of scientific tests that can be utilized to compare and contrast two different vehicles. Yet, none of those tests are nearly as fun as a good old-fashioned drag race.

One of the best things about drag racing is that any two cars can be pitted against each other in an amateur setting. The potential pairings are only limited by the creativity of the participants. Thankfully the crew at Edmunds are pretty creative folks. The team recently took over a straightaway at Willow Springs Raceway in California to race the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-1 against the BMW M4. American muscle versus German engineering. 

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-1

2021 Ford Mustang Mach-1 equipped with limited edition graphics,, front and rear spoilers and alloy wheels.
2021 Ford Mustang Mach-1 | Ford Motor Company

What can we say about the Ford Mustang that has not already been said? Like it or not, the Ford Mustang is an American icon. The Mustang is the first thing many people might picture in their heads when they hear the term “muscle car.” The Ford Mustang Mach-1 variant is legendary for being the ultimate expression of a “pony car.”

The 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-1 in this drag race is 100% stock, but that does not mean it isn’t packing heat. It is bringing a 5.0-liter V8 engine with 480 horsepower and 420 ft-lbs of torque to this face-off. The car in this race is equipped with a 10-speed automatic transmission. Wait, what? A 10-speed transmission? Why the heck does it have that? Whatever. It also does not have launch control for some reason. The important thing is that it is a formidable opponent for this match-up. 

2021 BMW M4 Competition

2021 BMW M4 Competition in blue driving on a road with an open field in the background.
2021 BMW M4 Competition | BMW

In the other corner of this fight is the 2021 BMW M4 Competition. Anyone can argue that BMW M cars are just as storied as the Mustang despite not being around for as long. What BMW has done with their M line in a relatively shorter amount of time is something to be commended. It is hard to argue with the brand’s strategy of bringing race car tech to their road cars.

A turbocharged 3.0 liter inline six-cylinder engine sits behind those considerable “nostrils” of the BMW M4. That engine produces 503 horsepower and 470 ft-lbs of torque. The specific car in this race is equipped with an 8-speed semi-automatic transmission with launch control. By the numbers, the BMW M4 has an advantage over the Mustang Mach-1, but even in a drag race, stats aren’t everything.

Ford Mustang Mach-1 vs. BMW M4 Competiton: Who wins?

We know the tale of the tape, but once tires hit the asphalt, everything can change. Will the BMW M4 walk away with this competition with its gargantuan nostrils flared? Or can the Ford Mustang Mach-1 defy physics and get the better of BMW’s performance coupe?

Edmunds raced pair of cars raced a total of four times. There are two races off the line and two from a 30 mph roll. We invite you to make your predictions before watching the video above. As usual, we will not spoil the ending, but we will say that things get interesting during the “roll” races.

At the end of the day, the real winner is us because we got to watch such a ridiculously entertaining race.


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